'With friends like that who needs enemies': Tusk lashes out at Trump

'With friends like that who needs enemies': Tusk lashes out at Trump

European Council President Donald Tusk on Wednesday castigated President Donald Trump and the actions he's taken to withdraw from both the Paris Climate Agreement and Iran nuclear deal, saying, "with friends like that who needs enemies?"

"But frankly speaking, Europe should be grateful to President Trump".

"Besides the traditional political challenges such as the rise of China or the aggressive stance of Russian Federation, we are witnessing today a new phenomenon: the capricious assertiveness of the American administration", Tusk said.

The 28 anxious EU leaders are gathering in the Bulgarian capital for discussions on how to salvage the nuclear deal and European business dealings with Iran from Trump's sanctions.

Mr. Trump's decision last week to abandon the Iran nuclear deal - negotiated by Iran and the United States, Britain, China, France, Germany and Russian Federation - left Europe scrambling to preserve the agreement.

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In a striking rhetorical assault on the leader of Europe's biggest ally, EU Council President Donald Tusk said that given Trump's recent decisions, "someone could even think 'with friends like that, who needs enemies?"'

The EU's top energy and climate official, Commissioner Miguel Arias Canete, is heading to Iran on May 18-21 for talks on energy cooperation, a symbolic gesture from the EU that it wants to stay engaged despite the USA withdrawal.

In remarkably frank terms, European Union commission President Donald Tusk squared off against US President Donald Trump in Sofia on Tuesday.

But the EU's hopes have been complicated by the fact that European companies would also be exposed to United States sanctions imposed on anyone doing business in Iran.

'I want leaders to reconfirm that the European Union sticks to the deal as long as Iran does.

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European diplomats have sought to play down expectations of Tuesday's meeting, stressing the enormous challenge of finding a way around U.S. sanctions punishing foreign businesses trading with Iran, which have global reach.

The EU is also unimpressed by Trump's decision to place tariffs on European steel and aluminium as part of his "America first" agenda.

Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel earlier this week linked Monday's deadly violence at the Israel-Gaza border to the USA decision to hold a ceremony for its embassy move to Jerusalem. "I will propose we stick to our guns", Tusk said.

"The EU and United States are friends and partners, therefore U.S. tariffs can not be justified on the basis of national security", he said. It is absurd to even think that Europe could be a threat to the United States. "He gave us to understand that if you need help, seek it from ourselves", wrote Tusk on his page on the social network Twitter.

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